Data Day Texas 2021 has been Postponed

Although we sent notifications out to ticket holders quite a while back, it should come as no surprise to everyone else that we decided to postpone the next Data Day Texas until 2022. This goes for the Global Graph Summit as well.

Several people raised the idea of making Data Day Texas a virtual conference. Having attended a few such events, the idea didn't appeal to us. We sent a request for feedback this year's ticket holders, and the response was unanimous: sitting in front of a screen for four or more hours, watching slide decks with narration, would not be Data Day Texas.

Over the years we've learned that quite a few Data Day Texas attendees don't actually attend any talks at all. They come to meet up with everyone else. Some schedule meetings, some come for the four or five hallway conversations that might further a project or launch a new one. More than a few have conversations that lead to new jobs. For many, Data Day Texas has become something of an annual reunion.

To help facilitate these conversations, we started opening the bar after lunch, We also serve coffee, tea, and espresso all day. We've always hosted Data Day in January, so that our friends from the EU won't melt when the come to Austin. We bring in sofas and set up a lounge on every floor of the facility. This setting is an integral part of the event. This experience cannot be recreated in a virtual space.

Since 2015, we started booking the hotel's presidential suite as a space for the speakers to hang out. We now book it for the entire week surrounding Data Day, and invite speakers to come early and visit Austin. Because we're situated between the campus, the capital and downtown, no car is needed. This is the coolest hotel room in the city. The patio is larger than most apartments. How can we possibly recreate this online?

Black's Barbecue. People in Amsterdam and Berlin know about it. You can only get it in the Austin area. We serve it at the parties. This is Data Day Texas. We can't do this online.

Sponsors participate in Data Day expecting lots of one on one encounters, and we make a point a to early committers strategically for maximum engagement - graph companies near the graph talks, integration companies near the integration talks, etc. A Slack channel is not the same thing.

Data Day Texas has a personal significance to me. I started hosting events twenty years previously in a small bookstore just a block away from the conference center. Before that I worked in the university library just two blocks away. The year that I launched Data Day was the year that my Austin allergies forced me to move to San Francisco. So every year, the event is very much a homecoming for me. My heart is still very much in Austin.

I hope all of you remain safe throughout the coming year, and look forward to seeing you again, when it is safe for us to congregate.

Lynn Bender